Imagine my astonishment while walking on the beach recently on finding a message in a rum bottle. I opened the paper excitedly, expecting to find directions to treasure; instead it was a political speech. I share this revelation with all peoples in light of the visit of P.J. Patterson.
As it turns out, THIS was the speech which was to be delivered to the Cayman people, but it got lost in the bureaucratic shuffle and arrived far too late.
‘Greetings Cayman! Jah Rastafari!
I want to big up Jah Kurt and all the bredren dem. Oh, I beg your pardon, that was a wrong choice of verb, as you can plainly see. A joke me a mek.
Anyway, I have a blank map of Jamaica here. And to prove the warm, cosy ties between our two countries, let me see the hands of all those Caymanians who come from Westmoreland or can point it out on this map.
Blouse and skirt. Not even one!
Now, before I proceed to the main item of business, which is to insult the Caymanian people, let’s clear up a few housekeeping matters.
I apologise for the way my ancestors treated una when you came to live and work here some time ago. We called you ‘small island people’, ‘web-foot’, ‘Johnny cake’, and those are the good ones.
Nuff insults, but you see sar, we sorry.
Don’t worry, because they call me all sorts of things in Jamaica. They say I too harsh and they say I soft, and quite frankly in this day and age I resent that.
Now let’s get to the heart of the matter, which my political opponents will tell you is well nigh impossible, since they say I have no heart! However, let’s talk visa.
From the outset, let me say that if you instituted this system because we have problems in Jamaica, then think again, because we have no problems in Jamaica. As proof of this, allow me to digress and remove my jacket and shirt. As you can see, I’m wearing a T-shirt which says plainly: ‘Jamaica, No Problem.’ So that takes care of that.
I know you might hear reports of violence of all sorts, but back home we call that just another day in ‘The Land of Wood and Water.’ So don’t worry yourself!
Now, is it true that you have some 1,500 insurgents on the loose here? If so, then my government is succeeding magnificently. Don’t be surprised if there are a lot more on the run, because I know my people dem. However, the more insurgents you have in Cayman, the less we have in Jamaica. So together we carry the load so to speak.
And do not listen to the great neighbour to the North, the Great Satan, as Jah Bin Laden calls it. Dem na like we. Every day, we get exported back from the U.S. In fact it’s gotten so bad that the leading export from the U.S. to Jamaica is now criminal, or rude bwoy, as we call dem.
Seen? And don’t be surprised if some of dem turn up in Cayman, because we have nuff genal bout de place.
Moving on, let me address the work force issue in Cayman. As you know, my Government is going to request that you bow down every time a Jamaican passes, for he rebuilt your country. This was all done without pay, I understand. This is a wonderful example of the spirit of volunteerism for which we are known wherever we go, so if there are reports of shoddy building, broken contracts or theft, look somewhere else because there are so many law-abiding Jamaicans here, as Shaggy says, it wasn’t we! And don’t forget that we are the only ones in this world that can drive a nail, mix cement, mind baby and chop bush. So no wonder we feel ourselves better than everybody else!
I’d also like to encourage you to get in bed with CARICOM. This will allow even more of the rude bwoy dem to leave Jamaica and make my job easier. One Caribbean, One Nation, One Love. Irie!
Now as I come to the end of my tenure as prime minister in Jamaica, I know that you in Cayman, fledgling as you are, would like to know the secret of good governance that has marked my career. Me na tell ya. If ya fe wa know how to develop a thriving economy, build strong international ties, reduce crime and address social concerns while wiping off the national debt, una fe pay for it. And in good US dollars too, cause we own na so big!
In closing, I must mention that I have heard about your cow itching of one of your own, so I’ve taken some precautions. My bodyguard has brought along some anti-cow itch medicine, which one of the bredren refine for me before I leave JA. Im will rub me all over, from mi Ed to mi batty to mi toe pint.
If una want to know the secret, then I’m willing to talk. How about an exchange? I will tell you of a cure for cow itch in exchange for Mr. Hamaty’s secret about the Tortuga Rum and Rum Cake.
Jah Rastafari! Ever living, Ever loving, Everlasting, Ever Smoking, etc.
Madam Editor, This letter is inspired by the bold truth as told by Jamaican Ainsworth Bailey, who letter appeared 9 December in the Caymanian Compass.